Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Academic Inflation

Child me, 1979
Weeding in the potato patch
Grandfather says
Go to university
Get a good job
Don’t work hard all your life
Like I did

For the job I have now
All you needed in 1979
Was a bachelor’s degree
By the skin of my teeth
In 2008 I got in
With a master’s degree
And a teacher’s certificate
Highest level in foreigner Japanese
And a guide on the inside

English majors are unqualified to teach English here
Foreigners can work no more than five years at one place
To be the professor of grandfather’s dream
I need five more years of study and research
To be the forty-five year old virgin
Hunting a doctoral position

Old me, 2011
Teaching and reading and writing and researching
Labrador Grandfather didn’t know
About academic inflation
If I had to do it all again
I’d do it smarter and faster
To try and outstrip the pace
Of academic inflation

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